Saturday, April 10, 2021
HomeCOVID-19Utter madness, this rip-off rollout of no-symptom testing

Utter madness, this rip-off rollout of no-symptom testing

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IT is time to revisit the madness of the Government’s Covid testing regime.  

It’s time to stop the extortionately expensive and inaccurate rollout of millions of daily tests for Covid and grasp the reality of the virus … simply put, we should test only those who are showing symptoms.  

There is absolutely no point in testing great swathes of the population, searching for viral needles in the haystacks of our schools and workplaces.  

By testing some 1.5million people a day, we are creating a false reality. We are also making some people very rich.

Let me take you through some basic facts of the problem. The Government has stated that the false positive results from testing amount to about 1 per cent of all PCR tests taken (not all PCR positive results) and about 0.5 per cent of all lateral flow tests taken, although it may be somewhat higher; the Government admits it doesn’t know.  

As current testing is split about half each between the two test types, by the Government’s estimates, a blended average of about 0.75 per cent of all current tests are false positives. This means about 11,250 false positives per day.  

But the daily results show approximately 5,000 positive tests nationally. That is 0.3 per cent of the total tested every day. So it becomes clear that almost all cases being found by the mass testing regime are false positives. There are still some real cases, but very few.  

The question is, why is the Government continuing with a programme of testing those without any symptoms when it knows full well that the figures that come out are dubious at best? Maybe people feel a bit better and safer. But at what price? 

The costs, of course, are borne by a population which is suffering financial hardship caused by policies directly attributable to the results of the tests themselves. It is a circle of delight for the testing industry, but a vicious one for everybody else. 

The numbers of tests have been boosted by at least a million a week by including schools in the programme. Given that most positive tests are false positive, this is causing mayhem at the school gate.  

Children who have spent the last year Zooming while their education burns find themselves and their learning a victim of the asymptomatic merry-go-round.  

Now, in school after school, their education is being disrupted again. If any child is tested positive, asymptomatic or not, the entire class will be sent into isolation for ten days. This affects tens of thousands of children a week. 

It has the knock-on effect of further disrupting the lives of their parents, who at last could start to get back to work with their children at school.  

Worse still, it is random, so that this disruption can happen to anyone at any time, with no warning, making business planning and the operation of a functional economy even harder. Given that it is individuals and businesses that are being nailed to the table to pay for their own destruction, this seems deeply unfair. 

Now let’s talk about the money. The taxpayer is forking out about £25 per test, including the purchase of the materials, the cost of manpower, and the costs of the processing of the tests themselves.  

Then there are all the associated costs of data management, logistics and the rest – it is a massive operation. It works out at about £200million a week, or some £30million every day. Huge profits are involved in this gravy train of swabs.  

We have known for a long time that the PCR test is being carried out to such a high level of magnification, such a high level of sensitivity, that it is picking up irrelevant fragments of viral detritus.  

The Government is ignoring World Health Organisation recommendations on double-checking weak positive results. It refuses to admit the PCR magnification standard being used, and has disgracefully banned private testing companies from giving this data to their paying patients, against medical best practice. Why?  

We have a government using what it acknowledges to be false data to impose greater and greater restrictions, threatening us with the need to carry what are to all intents and purposes ID cards, creating two classes of citizens. It is using this false data to constantly shift the goalposts and to keep the population cowed. 

So yes, test, but test smart. Stop testing the asymptomatic, stop wasting money and give people back the freedoms we need to get this country back working, living, educating, and loving again. 

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Richard Tice
Richard Tice is Leader of Reform UK (formerly known as the Brexit Party).

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